Morning business round-up: Eurozone unemployment hits record

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The rate of unemployment in the eurozone rose to a fresh record high in January, official figures show.

The jobless rate in the 17 countries that use the euro rose to 11.9% in January from 11.8% in December, the statistics agency Eurostat said.

The highest rate was 27% in Greece, although the most recent figure there was from November, while the lowest rate was 4.9% in Austria.

Eurostat also said eurozone inflation had fallen to 1.8% in February.

In the UK, Lloyds Banking Group has narrowed its pre-tax losses for 2012 to £570m, from £3.5bn the previous year.

The group, which is 40%-owned by the government, said its losses were primarily because of making provisions of £3.6bn for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI).

This included £1.5bn set aside in the fourth quarter for PPI.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio was awarded a bonus of £1.5m in deferred shares.

Japan's consumer prices have dipped for the third straight month, underlining the challenge faced by policymakers as they try to stoke inflation.

Consumer prices, excluding food, fell 0.2% in January from a year earlier.

Japan has been battling deflation for years. It has hurt domestic demand as consumers tend to put off purchases in hope of a cheaper deal later on.

Japan's new government has said that stoking consumer price growth is key to reviving Japan's sluggish economy.

It will give Sky half a million customers who use the O2 and BE brands for their home phone or broadband.

It will pay an initial £180m to Telefonica, with up to another £20m being paid once the customers have been switched to Sky.

Mr Dotcom has been accused of copying and distributing music, films and other content and faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years if convicted in the US.

A lower court had previously ruled that the defence team needed access to the evidence before the extradition hearing, which is due in March.

Mr Dotcom has denied the charges.

For an in-depth examination of the business issues behind the headlines, listen to the latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service. Today, the boss of Paypal explains us how he plans to reshape the online payments behemoth.

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